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- Penguin Modern Classics
- Narrated by: David Wayman
- Length: 5 hrs and 56 mins
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On 4th November 2052, Fremder Gorn is discovered drifting in deep space. He has no spacesuit, no helmet, no oxygen, but he is still alive: the sole survivor from the mysteriously vanished ship Clever Daughter. How did he get here? To find out, Fremder must search through memory, dream and the unknowable fragments of his own mind.
"Recalls Orwell's 1984 and Wells' The Time Machine...a revelation." (Guardian)
"A wildly imaginative piece of science fiction." (The Times)
"Unputdownable, moving, ingenious...it will remain in my head with troubling images and scenes for a long time." (A. N. Wilson, Evening Standard)
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- Prester Jim
Fremder in der Nacht
Ontological sci-fi mystery from the late, great Russell Hoban, boldly going down Philip K. Dick's metaphysical rabbit hole and deep into inner space.
A quirky, melancholy work, 'Fremder' is really a book about Becoming and the formation of identity; it just happens to use genre stylings to explore transitional states of matter and consciousness. Hoban thumbs his nose at traditional narrative structure, opting instead for a melange of Classical and Biblical allusion, references to Bach and Bizet, Judaism, neuroscience, theoretical quantum physics and Tin Pan Alley Pop. As with much of Hoban's work, this appears to be him expressing his general worldview and current interests through the prism of a novel; his persistent underlying themes connected by a seemingly random patchwork of ideas. This all makes it sound complicated and hard work but it's surprisingly compelling. Hoban is entertaining company and his central plot is a solid slice of hard sci-fi. In some respects the novel is reminiscent of 'The Centauri Device' or 'So Long, And Thanks For All The Fish', full of intergalactic doldrums and underwhelming answers to fundamental questions.
Surely not an easy book for a narrator to perform, David Wayman's reading really grew on me throughout; his tone, initially mournful, becomes filled with verve and brio as the story progresses. Admirable work.
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